Your schedule is one of the most important documents you will produce. It is a key component in managing stakeholder expectations. It tells team members when they will be performing work, the type of work that were performed, who team members will be working with, and how long the work should take.
Your schedule also tells the customer when deliverables can be reviewed and when to expect a finished product. And the schedule let’s management know when the project reviews are scheduled and how the team is doing in meeting its timelines.
However, as much time as you spend developing this very important documents, you will spend even more time updating and controlling the schedule. So this article was all about staying on schedule and influencing all the variables that could cause a schedule variance.
Control schedule. The process of monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and managing changes to the schedule baseline.
Schedule model. A model used in conjunction with manual methods or project management software to perform schedule network analysis to generate the project schedule for use in managing the execution of a project.
Project schedule. The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting schedule milestones.
A schedule baseline. A specific version of the schedule model used to compare actual results to the plan to determine if preventative or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives.
Schedule management plan. The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. It is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.
The schedule baseline is your commitment to the sponsor and the customer about when to expect certain deliverables, phase gates, and due dates. The project schedule is what you used to manage the day to day project.
The project schedule was likely to be adjusted on a fairly regular basis. The schedule baseline should change only in response to a change request that has gone through the perform integrated change control process.
This has two components you will use in this process:
Schedule baseline. Compare your planned progress with your actual progress
Schedule management plan. The schedule management plan should identify the acceptable variances for schedule performance. For example, if you are behind on work that is not on the critical path, is that considered a variance?
If you are ahead on the critical path, does that consider variance?
Under what circumstances can you use schedule reserves, and what process be used to update the plan to show that?
This tells you which activities have started, which have finished, and how far along you are for those activities that are in progress.
This is the day to day schedule used to track and monitor project work
These include the organisational policies, templates, and procedures you need to manage the project schedule.
You should be aware of a few scheduling nuances such as the difference between a schedule change, a schedule revision, and a schedule update:
Schedule change. This is based on a change request that is approved via the perform integrated change control process
Schedule revision. This may change the sequence in of activities, the resource is on activities, the start and finish dates within an activity’s float, or some other revision but is not impact on the baseline schedule.
Schedule update. This is when you into status into your project schedule. For instance, you note that an activity is started on a specific date and that it is now 50% complete.